Friday, May 18, 2018

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Improvements for the Worse

As I have noted before, the MTR has a history of unneeded "improvements" which actually make things worse.  Well, they're at it again.
Getting a train at Tai Po Market station the other day, I found that the familiar display signs - which show the destinations and timings of the next couple of trains in big red glowing letters - had been replaced by TV-type screens.  This, says the MTR, is to give us "even more information".

Well, I don't want "even more information" (which probably means intrusive advertising anyway).  What I want is to see when the next train is coming.  And whereas the old signs were clearly legible from a substantial distance along the platform, the new ones can only be read easily if you're close to them.  From further away they just appear as a vague blue blob.
This is not the only stupidity the MTR is inflicting on us.  It was announced this week that when the new Shatin-Central Link opens, trains on the existing Eastrail line will be reduced from 12 cars to 9.  Fine, if the line only went from Shatin to Central - but what about all the stations between Lo Wu and Tai Wai, where the new line starts?  Quite often the train will already be filled to capacity with border crossers when it leaves Lo Wu, and at peak times in the morning, every carriage is jammed with commuters..  Do the people who make these decisions ever travel on the trains they run?

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Typically Trumpian

Donald Trump's response to the fire in his eponymous New York building displays all the gracelessness and lack of human warmth we so detest in him.  No mention of sympathy for those injured, one of whom later died.  The condescending parentheses around "and women", as if female firefighters counted for less than men.  Instead the braggart seizes on a tragedy as yet another excuse to blow his own tarnished trumpet.  A masterpiece of bad taste!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Unity Mitford is alive and well and living in Hong Kong

The past week has seen much grave news, from Donald Trump appointing a notorious torturer as CIA head to attempted murders in Britain possibly perpetrated by the Russian government.  But among all these, the piece above was possibly the most sickmaking story of the week.

This kind of gushing praise might be appropriate from a 10-year-old attending her first Justin Bieber concert.  From a married middle-aged head of government, it is most unseemly.  One expects serious leaders to display a certain degree of gravitas, not to enthuse publicly about a schoolgirl crush.  And it is particularly insensitive at a time when most intelligent people around the world - certainly those in Hong Kong - are deeply concerned about Xi's accumulation of unchecked power.  Not that one expects much awareness from someone who doesn't even know where ordinary people buy toilet paper.